New technology could save animals' lives - WSMV Channel 4

New technology could save animals' lives

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Officers at Metro Animal Control are using a new piece of technology that's helping to prevent animals from being euthanized by accident.

It's a small scanner about the size of your thumb, and already they say it's making big and significant changes for animals who don't have homes

The scanner keeps an inventory of all the animals taken in by Animal Control, and that information is automatically updated to a website for all the world to see.

Pictures, descriptions and dates when the animal was brought in are all posted in hopes it may help reunite pets with owners, increase adoptions and decrease the chance of putting an animal down by mistake

"It's kind of new high-fallutin stuff here," said Davidson County officer J.D. White.

As White makes his rounds every morning and every afternoon, he's sporting a brand new tool. 

"Every cage, every animal gets scanned," said White. 

This scanner is part of Davidson County's new software called Visual Kennel designed to make officers' jobs more efficient and give homeless animals the best chance at a new life.

"This is a digital, up to date, to keep up with and keep track of where everything is at so they don't get misplaced or get lost. You can scan this entire building. It's like 250-something cages in like 20 minutes," said White.

Here's how it works:

Each kennel has a kennel card and an animal card. When officers take inventory, they scan both. 

Instantaneously, the information is loaded into a computer system.  Pictures, intake dates, and descriptions are all there.

The main idea is to reduce human error and the information is linked to a website for the public to see.

It could potentially reunite lost pets with owners.

"They can call us with that animal ID number and we can pull it up with the visual kennel and see," said White.

It might facilitate an unforeseen adoption.

"If they forget to move it, say now that the cat is in the adoption room and it's still showing in our inventory back here, it's not available for online who are looking for adoptable pets its showing up as a lost pet," said White. 

The hope is that, in turn, it will significantly reduce the chance of a fatal mistake.

"When you interject human error, sometimes mistakes can get made and potentially something could get euthanized that shouldn't be. With a current, proper, up to date inventory that is practically human proof, it should prevent a lot of things like that from happening, and I think that would probably be the best gift to Nashville," said White. 

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